medieval ramparts in Provins, France

A Day Trip to Provins, France

Walking through one of France’s most well-preserved medieval towns

Not to be confused with Provence located in the South of France, the medieval town of Provins became a UNESCO Heritage site in 2001. Many travel blogs and websites highly recommend Provins as a day trip from Paris.

Provins can be easily reached from Paris via Transilien P at Gare de L’Est using your Navigo pass or purchasing tickets at the metro kiosk.

Like Paris, the best way to see Provins is by walking.

Day-Trip Photo Diary of Provins, France

Place du Châtel

The main historical sites in Provins are located around Place du Châtel. After walking uphill from the train station, you will see the top of the Caesar Tower and the dome of the Saint-Quiriace Collegiate church. There are some cute crêperies and cafés around the square to have goûter or a quick drink.

place du Chatel in Provins, Franceplace du Chatel in Provins, FranceProvins France Place du ChatelProvins France architecturerue de Jouy Provins France

The Holy Ghost Cellar, Le Jouy Gate, and the Ramparts

Walk straight from Place du Châtel and you will find the Jouy Gate and the ramparts that protected the town during the Middle Ages. You can climb up the stone steps and walk along the ramparts to see the view of the surrounding countryside. Another option is to follow the ramparts walk alongAllée des Lépreux andAllée des Ramparts towards the tourist office to see the Saint-Jean gate.

The Holy Ghost Cellar is located on the right of the road near the Jouy Gate. It no longer serves its original purpose as a hospital to accommodate the poor and pilgrims, but instead as a town event space.

Holy Ghost Cellar Provins FranceJouy Gate Provins Francemedieval ramparts in Provins, FranceProvins France rampartsProvins France medieval rampartsProvins France rampartsrue de Jouy Provins FranceProvins France streetProvins France street

Saint-Quiriace Collegiate Church

Although this Catholic church began construction in the 12th century, it remains unfinished because there were insufficient funds to complete the project under the reign of Philippe le Bel. The dome was added in the 17th century.

Saint-Quiriace Provins FranceSaint-Quiriace Collegiate Church Provins FranceSaint-Quiriace Collegiate Church interior Provins FranceArchitecture in Provins, FranceProvins France Place du Chatelplace du Chatel Provins France

Le Musée de Provins et du Provinois

Learn more about the history of Provins and its people at the local museum, which happens to be situated in one of the oldest buildings in the town. The museum has objects found in Provins and the surrounding area dating from the Neolithic Age (10,200 BC) to the 19th century. Tickets are 4 € for adults, 2€ for a reduced rate.

Musee de Provins in Provins, FranceProvins France medieval architecture

Casear Tower

The Caesar Tower sits atop the highest point of Provins—it only seems fit that it boasts the best views of the town. It was built to symbolize the Count of Champagne’s power under the reign of Henry the Liberal. Tickets to climb up the tower are 4€30 for adults and 2€80 for children.

Caesar Tower Provins FranceProvins France view

Durtient and Voulzie Rivers

There was a dark blue wool cloth that was a well-known export from Provins—the color came from the powerful Durtient River that flowed through the town. The Durtient powered several industries in the town, including the dyer, tanner, and butcher. The Voulzie River is primarily recognized for fishing.

river Provins France

Provins City Center

More restaurants and more modern shops are located in the lower part of the town. The buildings still reflect the medieval spirit as much as the attractions by Place du Châtel.

It’s better to pick up souvenirs in the city center because there is more to choose from for wines and cheeses—as if it wasn’t enough to have historical ties to Champagne, Provins is the origin of Brie de Meaux. Also, it will be easier to carry to the train station upon returning to Paris.

Provins France city centerProvins France Hotel de Villeriver Provins France

For more information on Provins, France, visit the town’s website.

20 thoughts on “A Day Trip to Provins, France

    1. Thank you! The next time you’re in Paris, be sure to look up day trips that you can take on the RER/Transilien. You’ll be surprised to find that there are plenty of things to see outside of Paris without taking the TGV elsewhere

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  1. Wow! Gorgeous photographs! I love France! I would love to take my family one day. I went when I was a teenager to St. Tropez and Paris; however, this looks like a village that must be visited!

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  2. Your photos are so lovely. I studied in France when I was in college, but I think I was too young to fully appreciate all of the amazing things there were to see. I hope to go back one day, and Provins will be on my list of places to visit!

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    1. You definitely have to go! I completely understand what you mean–I did two short term study abroad trips while I was in college, but I definitely feel like I can appreciate travel more in postgraduate life

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